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Rice, Bean and Citrus Salad

Rice Bean and Citrus Salad

Rice Bean and Citrus Salad

I read Victoria’s recipe on her blog and I gasped out loud (GOL).  Is GOL a thing?  It should be!  But I gasped because the salad had so many of my favorite things, plus it could sit out and be eaten at room temp.  There are not many foods we can do that with and not get sick!  And with the lime zest and juice, the orange segments, it has so many flavors going on it’s bound to be a picnic hit!

Because I took the round steak for Swiss steak out of the freezer to late, I had to scramble to find a substitute for dinner one Sunday.  Making sandwiches using the imitation crab salad I’d made the previous day was easy.  Finding something to make it more of a meal wasn’t as easy.  But I remembered I’d bought oranges to make the interesting salad and so I made it.

I asked my P.S. (Part-time Sous chef/ hubby) to make 3 cups of brown rice.  Alas, no brown rice existed in our castle so we went with white rice.  He set it to cooking as I pulled the rest of the ingredients out of the fridge.

Shred carrots, dice pepper and green onions

Shred carrots, dice pepper and green onions

I shredded 2 carrots to equal a packed cup worth.  I diced a yellow sweet bell pepper I had on hand into small pieces and added them to the bowl.  I had diced green onions in the fridge and added about 1/4 cup to my bowl.

Rinse beans, halve cherry tomatoes

Rinse beans, halve cherry tomatoes

Next I had a bunch of grape tomatoes I wanted to use up and halved about 1/2 cup of them into the bowl as well.  My P.S. reached me down a can of black beans that I rinsed and drained before adding them to my bowl.

Whisk salad dressing

Whisk salad dressing

I zested my lime into a bowl and set it aside to wait for the rice to finish cooking.  I squeezed the juice out into a bowl to make the dressing.  I didn’t have much lime juice, it was a small lime, so I added a glug of lime juice from the bottle in the fridge.  I poured about 1/4 cup of olive oil into the bowl and added salt and pepper.  I whisked the dressing until it was emulsified and set it aside.

Segment oranges

Segment oranges

One last task to do while waiting for the rice to finish was to peel and section the oranges.  I used a knife to cut off the ends, then cut down from top to bottom all of the way around to remove the rinds.  I cut down into both sides of each segment then removed it to a bowl.  I hated to waste all that juice left in the remainder of the orange so I squeezed the juice into the dressing each time.

Add lime zest to rice and stir well

Add lime zest to rice and stir well

When the rice was done I stirred in the lime zest and more salt, then spread it out on plates to cool.  I wanted to get the salad mixed so it could set for a few hours before dinner.  It cooled quickly on the plates.

Stir dressing into vegetables and beans

Stir dressing into vegetables and beans

I poured the dressing over the beans and vegetables in the bowl and tossed and stirred well.

Stir in rice and taste test for seasoning

Stir in rice and taste test for seasoning

I let it sit a few minutes then added the rice and stirred well again.  I covered the bowl and let the salad sit for 2 hours before dinner.

Rice Bean and Citrus Salad

Rice Bean and Citrus Salad

Later I stirred in the orange segments before serving the salad for dinner with our sandwiches.

Rice Bean and Citrus Salad

Rice Bean and Citrus Salad

Good?  It was absolutely, fantastically good!  It had so much going on each mouthful was a new experience in culinary excellence.  Wow, super mix of vegetables, beans and rice with fruit.  I’d never have thought to create this wonderful dish on my own and am thankful to Victoria for pointing me to it!  This one is a keeper!

Rice, Bean and Citrus Salad

3 cups brown rice (I used white rice)
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
1 sweet bell pepper; diced (I used yellow)
1 cup carrots; shredded
1/2 cup grape tomatoes; halved
1/4 cup green onion; diced
Zest and juice of 1 lime (about 1/4 cup lime juice)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Cilantro (I used 1/2 teaspoon dried)
2 large oranges; peeled and separated into segments

Cook rice according to package directions. While the rice is still warm, mix in the lime zest and salt to taste.

In a small bowl add the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. While whisking, stream in olive oil until thick and emulsified.

In a large bowl add the black beans, bell pepper, carrots, tomatoes, green onion and cilantro and toss well. Add dressing and let it sit for a few minutes.  Add rice and stir to combine.

Let sit covered at room temperature for a few hours until ready to serve.

Add the orange segments, stir to combine and serve.

Note: I squeezed the remainders of the orange into the dressing bowl, which added about 1/4 cup of orange juice to the dressing.  I couldn’t bear to just toss it out!  Also the tomatoes weren’t in Victoria’s original recipe.  I just had grape tomatoes to use up.  Plus it added the color red to what is a very colorful salad!

Adapted from This Girl’s Gotta Eat

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